Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The House of Four Women - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - The Homicidal Coconut, or Time For Lunch

I live with my mother, my dad's sister and my paternal grandmother in a little town that thinks a lot of itself. It's fun most of the time. My grandmother is very hard of hearing. She absolutely refuses hearing aids on the grounds of the prohibitive expense, which when translated means vanity. She also wears dentures, has recovered successfully from a coconut falling on her head (I'm not kidding, grown men have died that way) and remembers everything. I call her Atchamma. I've never been particularly close to her but I think we're getting on better as we both get older. She's 86. Entertainment in my house mainly consists of listening to conversations between my grandmother and my aunt Geetha who has a very short temper and a shrill voice when she gets angry. Today, for example,

Aunt: Are you feeling hungry? It's almost time for lunch.
Atchamma: What?
Atchamma: Yes. (nods her head)
Aunt: (bringing her lunch) We made your favourite curry today.
Atchamma: Is it already time for lunch? I'm not even hungry. Did you all eat?
Atchamma: (hears this) I never said anything of the sort.

By this point, I'm rolling on the floor drowning in my tears. Of laughter. My mother, who is the most aggravating person on God's green earth, says nothing. I think she's trying desperately hard not to laugh, but I could be wrong. I told you she was aggravating.

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